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DreamBlaster X16

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First post, by dreamblaster

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[UPDATED 25.10.2020]
DreamBlaster X16 - prototyping/development board
Full featured board intended for testing and soundbank/software development.
I am now making a derived board X8, which is less excessive in features than X16.

Also making X16L : lighter version of X16

initial full X16 prototype :

X16.png
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X16.png
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X16_prototype.JPG
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X16_prototype.JPG
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Light X16L prototype :
Same basic specs, but more relevant form factor, similar to X8
1 GByte Flash
8 MByte SDRAM
16 Core DSP (SAM5716B)

X16L.png
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X16L.png
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X8_x16_CommonPCB.png
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X8_x16_CommonPCB.png
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Last edited by dreamblaster on 2020-10-25, 12:45. Edited 5 times in total.

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
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Reply 2 of 29, by Trelokk

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Which DAC chip are you using? I'd be interested if this is capable of driving speakers like my Creative Stage Air 2.1 soundbar and at least 250 Ohm headphones (like my Beyerdymanics DT990 Edition). To make it perfect, a switch for toggling between Line Out and Headphone Out would be nice, similar to devices like the M-Audio Super DAC.

In general, I would be quite keen on being able to get my hands on a modern soundcard once more which has the capability of adding a wavetable module. Creative removed that aeons ago. It could even breathe new life into my DB50XG card which I still have in a DOXBox setup here (provided it would be compatible with this). I hope a proper case is also planned for this. 😉

1GB flash is probably really a bit excessive. Often bigger soundbanks are not necessarily better than small ones. In fact, the best modules out there like the SC55 or DB50XG managed to produce excellent MIDI music with just 4MB. But it also depends on what you want to do with it - I am talking about MIDI for classic games from the 90s such as Doom, Duke3D or Descent.

If this is really happening, someone will hopefully make a conversion of H. Bredel's 8MBGM Enhanced SF2 soundfont. I would immediately uninstall VirtualMIDISynth after that. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. ^^ Anyway, a very promising project!

Reply 4 of 29, by appiah4

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Ok.. Not sure how I missed this, but so this basically looks like.. An external MIDI module / USB Audio Device hybrid with digital audio out and headphone amp? I can see that it also has Line In so I am guessing it can do audio processing internally? And there is bot a 64Mbit DRAM and a Micron chip that I think is actual NAND storage? What are you cooking up Serge.. Are you telling me I can actually upload ROM (*cough*MT-32*cough*) files onto this device and run software (*cough*MUNT*cough*) on it or something? Because if you are, take my money..

Ok, ok, this appears to have no processor and the Dream chip does all the interesting stuff. But maybe a similar audio centric SBC that can run MUNT and BASSMIDI, FluidSynth or something instead of using a Dream chip down the line 😉 A man can dream..

Very interested in this project, keep us posted 😀

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 5 of 29, by Trelokk

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If this is going to be a full-fledged sound card with a proper DAC, headphone amp *AND* MIDI capabilities that can be used with a modern OS, this would be the most interesting project for me on this forum until now.

Reply 6 of 29, by dreamblaster

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Trelokk wrote on 2020-07-07, 11:15:

If this is going to be a full-fledged sound card with a proper DAC, headphone amp *AND* MIDI capabilities that can be used with a modern OS, this would be the most interesting project for me on this forum until now.

yes that's the intention

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
New X2GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS
Thanks for your support !

Reply 7 of 29, by Trelokk

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Outstanding. For me this now just needs to be able to handle 250 Ohm headphones and should ideally have a switch to toggle between Line Out and Headphone Out. Then you could ask pretty much any price actually, I'd still order a unit. With case, no questions asked.

Is it already decided which DAC and headphone amp chip will be used or it's still too early to tell?

Reply 8 of 29, by dreamblaster

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Trelokk wrote on 2020-07-08, 08:39:

Outstanding. For me this now just needs to be able to handle 250 Ohm headphones and should ideally have a switch to toggle between Line Out and Headphone Out. Then you could ask pretty much any price actually, I'd still order a unit. With case, no questions asked.

Is it already decided which DAC and headphone amp chip will be used or it's still too early to tell?

I will further develop X8 first , which has no headphone amp

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
New X2GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS
Thanks for your support !

Reply 10 of 29, by Nitroraptor53

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Hey! I might be getting some money today. If I do, no guarantees, get the money, could I make a donation of around $250 USD?

"Oh I'm a good old rebel, now, that's just what I am."
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Reply 11 of 29, by dreamblaster

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Nitroraptor53 wrote on 2020-10-10, 16:52:

Hey! I might be getting some money today. If I do, no guarantees, get the money, could I make a donation of around $250 USD?

That is very kind, I am grateful for your support, but I am not accepting donations or pre-orders for X16.
Feel free to PM me, especially if you wish to support my projects, by buying other sound cards (that are completed already).

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
New X2GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS
Thanks for your support !

Reply 12 of 29, by Nitroraptor53

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dreamblaster wrote on 2020-10-10, 20:03:
Nitroraptor53 wrote on 2020-10-10, 16:52:

Hey! I might be getting some money today. If I do, no guarantees, get the money, could I make a donation of around $250 USD?

That is very kind, I am grateful for your support, but I am not accepting donations or pre-orders for X16.
Feel free to PM me, especially if you wish to support my projects, by buying other sound cards (that are completed already).

Oh ok. Also this is a cool project and I wish you best of luck!

"Oh I'm a good old rebel, now, that's just what I am."
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Reply 13 of 29, by dreamblaster

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Lighter redesign of X16, X16L, after feedback :

Attachments

  • X8_x16_CommonPCB.png
    Filename
    X8_x16_CommonPCB.png
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    324.51 KiB
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    1205 views
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception
  • X16L.png
    Filename
    X16L.png
    File size
    221.02 KiB
    Views
    1205 views
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
New X2GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS
Thanks for your support !

Reply 15 of 29, by dreamblaster

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X16L board ready. - blue edition !
Still quite some firmware development ahead, before possible release.

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  • DSCN9356.JPG
    Filename
    DSCN9356.JPG
    File size
    1.45 MiB
    Views
    956 views
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
New X2GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS
Thanks for your support !

Reply 17 of 29, by hard1k

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Wow! I'm totally up for one for my Aureal SQ2500 and SQ3500 Turbo!

Fortex, the A3D & XG/OPL3 accelerator (Vortex 2 + YMF744 combo sound card)
AWE64 Legacy
Please have a look at my wishlist (hosted on Amibay)

Reply 19 of 29, by dreamblaster

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subnet_zero wrote on 2021-02-02, 22:31:

Quite impressive. Is there a reason why you use a mini-usb connector, like you did with the x2? 🤔 ....I better stock up those cables.

mini usb through hole version, is very solid
as opposed to a micro usb which i ripped off in a prototype, during testing.
so yeah, because i like it, and you can give these old cables a new life 😀

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
New X2GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS
Thanks for your support !